fried, not baked

Most people would agree that fried food is tastier than baked food, but some might question its health benefits. “Fried, not baked!” was my teacher Denny Waxman’s maxim for a while. He taught that if you use (but don’t reuse too many times) good quality oil that can withstand high heat, fried food is actually more nourishing than baked food. Baking vegetables will dry them out and destroy some of the vitamins, while frying seals in the nutrients, giving the food a charge from the heat surge. Denny says,”Frying is beneficial as part of a low-fat diet. It was common in Japan and the Japanese have had great longevity.” 

serves 4


2-3 carrots

3 Tablespoons grape seed oil

3-4 fresh mint leaves

pinch sea salt

Process Trim the ends and scrape any tiny hairs and brown spots from the surface of the carrots. Rinse them. Use a carrot sharpener peeler  to shave paper-thin pieces that will form shapes like butterfly wings and flowers.


Set aside. In the meantime wash the mint leaves


and chop them into tiny pieces for garnish.


Set them aside. On a medium flame, heat a cast iron or stainless steel skillet for about 40 seconds. Add 1 Tablespoon of the grape seed oil and allow it to heat up for about 10-20 seconds. Then drop in the carrot pieces one at a time, and fry them.


Depending on the size of the piece, it will take about 10-20 seconds for the carrot flesh to turn a lighter shade and then get brown around the edges. When a piece turns golden brown around the edges, remove it from the pan and let it dredge on a brown paper bag.


Repeat this process until you’ve fried all the carrot pieces. You will need to add more grape seed oil periodically, as the pan becomes dry. When the carrot pieces are less oily, place them in a bowl or on a plate,


sprinkle the chopped mint on top (along with a pinch of sea salt, if desired) and serve.

©Nancy Wolfson-Moche 2014